Life had just seemed to pass me by until that day when…. I met the Zen Master who showed me the way to enlightenment.  His name was Solomon Shiloh and when I became his student, I changed my name to Manfred Galen.  I had an awakening when he showed me the three things that Buddhists give themselves to, and in return look toward for guidance, in the process known as taking refuge.  His guidance, friendship and knowledge allowed me to see all the confusion in my life.  I realized that I had potential and that I must embark on a journey to find my own Bodhi tree, so that I could answer the essential metaphysical question about the nature of my mind.  I needed to know if features of reality existed beyond the physical world and my immediate senses.  I was familiar with René Descartes’s philosophy of, “I think, therefor I am”, as my senses perceived the way things actually are as being real, however I was watching a lot of reality TV shows and these people did not seem real to me.

I needed to find my own identity and discover who the hell I really am.  The Zen Master told me that being lost was not a permanent condition, that it is just a step in the process of being found.  I knew that once I found my place in the world that I would be content with my life.  I was drifting and I needed someone to put a candle in the window, so I could see the light and find my way home.  I got tired of losing my way and I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror.  I didn’t need someone to tell me who I should be, how I should look, or how I should behave, and everything came together for me when I stopped trying to fit in and started living my life in an authentic manner.

Change is a good thing, and it allowed me to move forward in my life so I could experience new and exciting things, evolving myself, to the point where my life was no longer stagnant.  I realized that ideas were infinite and even though there are only so many potential categories they come from, they could be combined in different ways to give new meanings, although putting a new wrapper on something will not change space and time.  I had to investigate the relationship between cause and effect because I am living in a dynamic world and I needed to know what was influencing the decisions that I was making, so I could determine if things were true or false.  I decided to live my life based on logic, necessity and possibility.  If something was a logical possibility, then it would not be a contradiction and I could accept this as the truth.  To say that something might be so, means that it is possible, but it may never happen.  Billy Joel got stranded in the combat zone, but he made it home alive, proving that he might be insane for all I know, but I may be right, or I could be wrong.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #30.

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